Learn about the technologies behind the Internet with The TCP/IP Guide!|
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
|View over 750 of my fine art photos any time for free at DesktopScenes.com!|
PC Structural Design
Imagine an entire PC system sitting in front of you. It has a dozen or so key components, all connected to each other in one way or another. Some are inside the PC and some outside. How do you take this collection of parts and analyze it so that it is easily understandable?
A useful first way is to consider the PC system as a set of different groups of components, each with a particular role to play in overall PC design. Here are the four categories into which I divide the components of the PC at the highest level:
While perhaps not a perfect way to divide the parts of a PC up, these four groupings should help you visualize how a PC is structured in the most basic level. They are certainly not completely independent of each other, because of course everything is connected into an overall system. Yet they are different in terms of how they fit into the overall design.
Considering these different groups is also essential for approaching the design and creation of any PC system. The groups show you which components must be specified (and ideally purchased) at the same time. For example, you can't just pick a motherboard and a case and hope they fit together; you have to be sure they are physically compatible. The same goes for the core logic--the CPU isn't something you choose without knowing what memory and chipset you'll be using. But the more independent components, while still requiring attention to ensure compatibility, can in many ways be "added" to the basic design later on. You can use this "hierarchy" to help guide your design decisions.
Next: PC Subsystem Design